Jo Young Switzer
ONE OF THE GREAT PARTS OF MY WORK is meeting with alums and
friends across the country. Recently,
I met in Texas with Dr. David
B. Hatcher '39, who came to Manchester College because his parents
told him he would. He was the first person from his large, extended
family to attend college.
With a solid undergraduate education in
chemistry here and with strong encouragement
from Dr. Carl W. Holl '16, Hatcher went on to
complete a Ph.D. in engineering at Purdue
University. Over his lifetime, he has worked in
the chemical industry and built a company that
is now publically traded. He told me: "I could
not have accomplished what I have
professionally without my Manchester degree."
A 2010 graduate recently wrote to a
professor here, saying, "You have no idea the
impact your mentoring has had on my
education and life in general. You're a large part of the reason I am
where I am now."
He was the first in his family to attend college, also.
Year after year, about a fourth of our students are "first-generation"
college students, the first in their families to enroll in
studies past high school. Their presence on campus is not new for
Manchester; we always have welcomed and challenged and stretched
these students. Each day, I watch faculty and staff members work
with first-generation students and their families to navigate higher
education. I see faculty quietly assuring parents that they will watch
out for their sons and daughters in class. I see our Success Center in
the College Union come to life each evening with students who are
taking advantage of a valuable academic safety net of study tables
and aids, skills tutoring and workshops, and attentive counseling.
This fall issue of Manchester magazine celebrates the ways
Manchester College is carrying on its commitment to all students,
including those whose families are new to higher education.
JO YOUNG SWITZER